April 11, 2022  |  News & Events, Sad News, Timely Announcements

Dear Colleagues,

I share with you sad news from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Letters and Science. Professor Emeritus Peter Kovacic passed away on March 11. Peter joined the UWM faculty as Professor of Organic Chemistry and Research Professor in 1968 and developed our graduate research program in organic chemistry. Peter retired from UWM in 1987.

Peter was born on August 1, 1921, in Wylandville, PA. He earned a BA in Chemistry and Mathematics in 1943 from Hanover College in Hanover, IN. In 1946, he earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before coming to UWM, Peter worked as a Research Chemist with E.I. DuPont Company and taught at Case Institute of Technology (later Case Western Reserve University), where he rose from Assistant Professor to full Professor of Chemistry.

Peter was extremely proud of his teaching, which included undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. He was interested in using humor to support learning and healing and was known for introducing many jokes into his lectures. He had an annual tradition of dressing up in Hawaiian shirts and giving a goofy lecture.

We share our condolences with Peter’s family and the many others whose lives he touched. For additional information, please see Peter’s obituary or the UWM Chemistry and Biochemistry Department memorial.

Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs